Tag:BCS
Posted on: June 30, 2011 12:16 pm
Edited on: June 30, 2011 12:41 pm
 

Utah AG Shurtleff wants legal help in BCS lawsuit

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

The last time we checked in on Utah attorney general Mark Shurtleff's increasingly quixotic attempt to tear down the BCS with an antitrust lawsuit, he was hoping to find other state AG's who might join as co-plaintiffs. He hasn't had much luck there.

He's also asked for help from the U.S. Department of Justice, which has made some noise about stepping in for a look at college football's antitrust status but hasn't yet seemed to do much more than basic fact-finding.

None of this has swayed Shurtleff from what he sees as his appointed mission, though, and he was back in headlines Wednesday when he began soliciting law firms to make up the legal team necessary to bring the suit. As the Salt Lake Tribune reports:
“There are serious antitrust violations in the BCS system that are robbing taxpayers of hundreds of millions of dollars,” Shurtleff said in a prepared statement on Wednesday. “Putting together the strongest legal team from around the country will give us the best chance at bringing equity back to college football.”

Wednesday’s query is the second time Shurtleff has put out a “request for information” to law firms that handle antitrust cases. He first announced he was seeking requests for proposals in April. His latest pursuit to find a law firm to take the case is through BidSync (www.bidsync.com), where interested firms can file responses until Aug. 8.

Shurtleff's over-the-top statement (since when did college football ever have "equity"?) is met by an equally over-the-top statement from Bill Hancock, the BCS executive director. But rather than focus on either side's posturing, the better question is: Will Shurtleff actually be able to bring the suit?

Though there's been some doubt whether he'd have the financial muscle going it alone, a spokesman for his office says the suit is "right on track" to be filed this fall.

We remain somewhat skeptical. But with the DOJ paying some kind of attention and Shurtleff seemingly as committed than ever, it might be time to stop dismissing Shurtleff's chances of getting his day in court. He still needs the legal help he requested yesterday, of course, and a lot of other things (and that's before we even discuss his chances of winning if the suit is brought). But if he is indeed "on track," his story is one that will have to be followed this college football season.


Posted on: June 14, 2011 12:27 pm
Edited on: June 14, 2011 12:43 pm
 

Auburn raises may yield highest-paid staff in FBS

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Surprise!
Keeping 8/9ths of a BCS national championship-winning coaching staff together for three straight years -- a staff that includes likely the nation's hottest offensive coordinator -- gets really expensive!

OK, so it's no surprise for any college football fan who hasn't been living under a moon rock the past few seasons, as coaching salaries have skyrocketed in such a fashion that most skyrockets are jealous. But it's good news all the same for the assistant coaches at Auburn, who now make up what could be the nation's most highly-paid college football coaching staff.

According to the Birmingham News and salary information provided by USA Today, the new coaching salaries officially released by Auburn Monday make the Tiger collection of assistants the hands-down best-compensated at any U.S. public university. The only contender for "highest-paid staff in America" appears to be that of USC, which features reported $4 million man Lane Kiffin but as a private university has not officially divulged contract information for any of its coaches.

The details of the Auburn raises:
  • Collectively, Auburn's assistants will earn $4,085,000, well ahead of the $3.6 million spent by second-place Texas.
  • The aformentioned offensive coordinator, Gus Malzahn, is now officially the nation's highest-paid (public) assistant with a 160 percent raise to $1.3 million per year.
  • Three other Tiger assistants will earn $400,000 or more: defensive coordinator Ted Roof ($500,000), wide receivers coach/assistant head coach Trooper Taylor ($425,000), and offensive line coach Jeff Grimes ($400,000).
  • All together, the seven assistants retained from Gene Chizik's initial hires two years ago have received raises of 70 percent.
And of course that doesn't take into account the sizable raise announced last week for Chizik himself, which now includes the nation's largest 2011 buyout--a whopping $10 million.

It's quite the outlay, though few Auburn fans -- after watching the staff in question take the Tigers from the embarrassment of the 36-0 defeat to Alabama that capped the 2008 season to last year's BCS title -- would say the staff hasn't earned every penny. Still, the huge bump in salary will no doubt create an equal bump in expectations, and with Auburn the least-experienced team in the FBS this fall, those are expectations the staff will have quite the challenge trying to meet.


Posted on: June 13, 2011 12:55 pm
 

Wyoming down to two scholarship QBs

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

The Mountain West wants an automatic BCS bid. To accomplish this, it needs a forgiving mood from the BCS powers-that-be and strong performances on the field. It can count on those from the likes of Boise State, TCU (this season, anyway) and Fresno State. But it also needs better performances from the woeful bottom half of the conference, where the four teams at the bottom of the standings -- Wyoming, UNLV, Colorado State and hapless New Mexico -- went a staggering 2-34 in 2010 against all other FBS competition.

It looked like Wyoming wasn't going to be keeping that kind of company after their breakthrough 2009 season, in which first-year coach Dave Christensen led them to a 7-6 record and a thrilling New Mexico Bowl upset of Fresno. But it's all been downhill since then, as the Cowboys stumbled to a 3-9 record, handed New Mexico its only win of Mike Locksley's two-year tenure, and saw starting quarterback Austyn Canta-Samuels elect to transfer after the season.

Now things have gone from bad to worse as fellow signal-caller Emory Miller Jr. has also decided to leave Laramie following spring practice. "Personal reasons" were the only factor cited by the Laramie Boomerang, and Christensen declined to comment other than to wish Miller luck at his next destination.

Miller's and Canta-Samuel's decisions leave Christensen in a gigantic bind at the quarterback position. The Cowboys are down to just two scholarship quarterbacks on their projected 2011 roster: Brett Smith and Adam Pittser. But there's an even bigger problem than the numbers, as both Smith and Pittser are true freshmen straight from the Cowboys' 2011 recruiting class.

For the optimists in the Cowboy fanbase, Smith enrolled in time for spring practice and battled Miller to at least a draw in their battle for the starting spot, and Pittser (a "dual-threat" QB from Richmond, Ill.) is one of the most highly-regarded recruits of Christensen's tenure. To boot, Christensen has already enjoyed some success with a true freshman under center in Laramie; Canta-Samuels started the majority of the 2009 campaign and was named the MWC Freshman of the Year.

But surely no one, Christensen included, believes that entering the 2011 season starting a quarterback a year removed from high school and backing him up with a second quarterback a year removed from high school is the optimal situation. And should the Cowboys suffer through another lackluster season and help deprive the MWC of the automatic bid it so desperately wants, that'll go double in the MWC offices.


Posted on: June 8, 2011 2:58 pm
Edited on: June 13, 2011 9:42 am
 

CBSSports.com College Football 100: 10-3

By the Eye on College Football bloggers

To celebrate the (now fewer than) 100 days remaining until the first Saturday of the new college football season, this is the CBSSports.com College Football 100: our countdown of the 2011 season's 100 most influential players, coaches, administrators, venues, or any other related
things in college football. It's like that other "most influential" list, but, you know, more important. Also: it's supposed to be fun.

We're now down to the nitty-gritty: Nos. 10-3 below, No. 2 tomorrow and our No. 1 unveiled Friday. Stay tuned.


10. JOHN MARINATTO, commissioner, Big East. Marinatto joined the Big East executive staff as senior associate commissioner in 2002, just in time to see the biggest shakeup in membership since the conference began football competition in 1991. Now, as the Big Ten and Pac-12 have shaken up the conference landscape with the expansion to 12 teams -- as well the ACC and Pac-12 recently negotiating lucrative multi-network media deals - the onus falls on Marinatto to bring the Big East up to par with the new standards of major conference football.

In his discussion with CBSSports.com's Brett McMurphy, Marinatto made no mistaking that the primary driver of Big East expansion is the expiration of their current television deal with ESPN at the end of the 2012-2013 school year. Beginning in September 2012, the Big East will have a 60-day exclusive negotiation period with the network. At that point Marinatto hopes to have expansion completed, and be holding all the attractive chips for a bidding war that will pay out the way it did for the Pac-12. TCU's arrival next season obviously holds the greatest national intrigue, as well as reaching a very un-Big East audience in the Southwest. But where will expansion stop? With the right moves, the league cound finally abandon its role as college football's BCS-conference punchline.

For now Marinatto insists that there is no model, and all options are still on the table. The only driving factor in the eyes of the conference is how will the addition of a certain team add value to television contract negotiations. College football is a big money business that networks will pay for, and after seeing the deal that Larry Scott got for the Pac-12 everyone will one a piece. But we'll get to Scott soon enough ... -- CP

9. LANDRY JONES, quarterback, Oklahoma. With Oklahoma being the popular pick to start 2011 on top of the polls, there's no arguing that quarterback Landry Jones won't begin the season as a Heisman favorite. But it's not just the visibility of being under center for the nation's No. 1 team: the junior-to-be has thrown for 7,916 yards and 64 touchdowns in his first two seasons in Norman. The formula will be pretty simple--the more games that Oklahoma wins, the more talk you'll hear of Landry Jones.

The Sooners offense has been an explosive one for as long as Bob Stoops has been at the wheel, and one that gives the quarterback a lot of toys to play with. Life is a lot easier when you have guys like Ryan Broyles, Kenny Stills and James Hanna to throw to. Still, Jones is the kid in charge of driving the car. He doesn't have a ton of room to improve this year, though he has thrown 26 interceptions in his career. If Jones can cut down on turnovers this season it will only boost his touchdown numbers, Oklahoma might never let go of that top spot, and Jones will be in New York this winter to pick up some hardware. -- TF

8. MIKE SLIVE, commissioner, SEC. If you thought for one red second someone other than Slive was the true ruler of the SEC, we hope you paid attention to the league's recent spring meetings. Slive proposed a "soft cap" of 25 signees per class, among other "roster management" initiatives designed to curb oversigning. The SEC's 12 head coaches voted against the proposal 12-0. But with the final decision in the hands of the league's presidents, the proposal passed anyway, the presidents voting 12-0 in favor. What Mike Slive wants, Mike Slive gets.

Well, except maybe a new television contract. The "no outs" nature of the league's current 15-year deal, signed three years ago, looks worse and worse as league after league (most notably the Pac-12) strike it rich on the open market and the Big Ten Network's revenues continue to grow. The SEC is hardly hurting for money, though, and it's Slive who has overseen the conference rise to five consecutive BCS championships -- spread across four teams, even more impressively -- even as its number of programs under probation has dwindled (pending a few open investigations, mind). The modern SEC might still be the Conference (former commish and BCS visionary) Roy Kramer Built, but Slive has done a masterful job of pressing its football advantages while pushing a handful of successful academic measures (like the oversigning legislation) to battle the league's win-at-all-costs image. If the SEC does make it six-for-six in 2011, its commissioner will no doubt get some measure of credit--and it's hard to argue he won't deserve it. -- JH

7. BILL HANCOCK AND THE BCS, Executive Director of/and championship cartel. Boo! Hiss! The BCS and Bill Hancock aren't the most popular topics amongst college football fans, but they are both incredibly influential in the world of college football. It's the BCS that helps inject more money in the BCS conferences, and is also a driving factor behind the conference realignment we've seen the last few years. After all, 2011 isn't TCU's final year in the Mountain West if they hadn't just finished two undefeated regular seasons and not gotten a chance to play for a title. Of course, while it's fun to rage against a acronym, it's also nice to have a face to go with that acronym.

Which is where Bill Hancock comes into play. No matter who you are -- a fan, a writer or the United States government -- if you present the BCS with a rational, well-thought and logical complaint about the BCS system, Hancock is the man you'll hear from. He'll be the guy telling you that you're wrong, and that the BCS is perfect. The BCS will then go about its business doing things the way it always has, and at the end of the season they'll determine who has the right to play for a national championship, and you won't. -- TF

6. JIMBO FISHER, head coach, Florida State. First Will Muschamp burned Texas to accept the job at Florida, then the recent Dana Holgorsen/Bill Stewart feud exploded at West Virginia. It seems like one of the only "coach-in-waiting" situations that has worked out recently was Jimbo Fisher at Florida State. After contractually getting the title in 2007, Fisher waited behind the legendary Bobby Bowden to take control of the powerhouse in Tallahassee. But in those last few years under Bowden, the Seminoles had slipped from being perennial national title contenders to perennially playing December bowl games. But that all seemed to change when Fisher took the reigns and delivered the Seminoles' first 10-win season since 2003.

Now Florida State returns 17 starters from that squad, and last year's backup quarterback E.J. Manuel steps in after leading the Seminoles to victory over South Carolina in the Chick Fil-A Bowl. Fisher's promotion also paid immediate dividends on the recruiting trail, with blue-chippers like defensive back Karlos Williams and running back James Wilder Jr. giving the 'Noles their strongest haul in years. (The 2012 class, incidentally, is already shaping up to draw consideration as the nation's best.) The pundits now have Fisher's team tagged as ACC favorites, and there is once again a major buzz around Tallahassee regarding Seminoles football. Fisher has demanded that his players understand what expectations mean. "Just because you're picked to win, they don't give you a trophy when the season starts," he explained recently.

The fast-talking Fisher will fill your ear with areas where his team needs to improve. He never gets complacent, and constantly asks more from his players. It was complacency that arguably played a major role in Florida State's fall from grace after the turn of the century, and now Fisher has a great chance to restore that dominance in 2011, in just his second year as head coach. College football's next true powerhouse could get its start here. -- CP

5. ANDREW LUCK, quarterback, Stanford. Luck finished runner up for the Heisman last season and many figured he'd be house shopping in the Charlotte area after dismantling Virginia Tech in the Orange Bowl. Every NFL pundit was labeling him a surefire number-one pick and future Hall of Famer after watching him shred opposing defenses every time he dropped back. CBSSports.com draft analyst Rob Rang called him the best quarterback and elite prospect he's ever scouted. With his head coach, Jim Harbaugh, headed to the San Francisco 49ers, many assumed he was a lock to bolt for NFL riches.

The architectural design and engineering major from Houston had other plans, however. He kept his Palo Alto address and announced he would stay at Stanford for his redshirt junior year to try and capture the inaugural Pac-12 title. He'll be gunning for the few Stanford quarterback records he hasn't already broken and look to get back to a BCS bowl as well. He's not just an accurate pocket passer, though; he can run and doesn't mind giving a shove to defenders if they end up in his way. It's good that he's mobile as two of the Cardinal's biggest challenges under new head coach David Shaw are replacing several starters along the offensive line and finding a few targets for Luck to throw to. Despite the issues on offense, the 6-foot-4, 240-pound quarterback is the prohibitive favorite to win the Heisman Trophy this year. He's got a lot riding on his heavily insured right arm in 2011, but with a manageable schedule and the fact that he's competed over 70 percent of his passes for his career, don't be surprised if the talented Luck keeps the Cardinal offense humming and the team in the national title hunt as well. -- BF

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4. NCAA COMMITTEE ON INFRACTIONS, punitive arm of legislative body, NCAA. The 10 members of the Committee on Infractions (COI) might be the most talked about group in sports that no one really knows anything about. Of all of the committees that make of the NCAA, the group may also be the most infamous, meeting behind closed doors and dishing out sanctions through press releases. It is this group that is tasked with being the grand jury, judge and jury for every school that comes before them and, in just about every case, has a school (and their fans) in considerable disagreement with their ruling. The members that made up the committee run the athletics gamut (three independent lawyers, three professors, three from league offices and one athletic department veteran at the moment) but all have some law or compliance background. 

The COI will be in the news a lot this year, as the off the field headlines in college sports have dictated. First up is Boise State -- battling the dreaded charge of "Lack of Institutional Control" for violations in several sports -- and Tennessee this weekend. The Volunteers' case is one many observers are looking at with a close eye due not only to the coaches involved (Lane Kiffin and Bruce Pearl) but to see how they treat a coach that blatantly lied to investigators ahead of their later date with Ohio State and Jim Tressel. In addition to levying scholarship reductions, bowl bans, probation and a host of other penalties, the COI has also started to hand out suspensions to coaches, such as the three-game suspension for UConn head basketball coach Jim Calhoun.

The committee is not bound by prior case precedent -- though they say they use it as a guide -- so decisions can feel arbitrary and vary from case to case. All of that simply makes predicting what they will do harder than getting the right lotto numbers. It's not a courtroom where schools have due process rights; the COI, rather, is all about finding "clear and convincing evidence" to support the NCAA enforcement staff's case against schools. The NCAA has recently tried to be more transparent with the COI, showing how things are done and opening the door into their world ever-so-slightly under new president Mark Emmert. Questions still remain, though, about what penalties will eventually come out of the room for schools such as Tennessee, Ohio State, and eventually North Carolina. The only answer at the moment is to wait. -- BF

3. NICK SABAN, head coach, Alabama. It's the year 2011, and the argument is over; Nick Saban is the most powerful college football coach in Division I. Every rival who might have challenged him for that honor is in decline, or gone entirely. Jim Tressel: resigned in disgrace. Pete Carroll: fled back to the NFL just ahead of the NCAA posse. Mack Brown: went 5-7, ceded Big 12 superiority to Bob Stoops. Stoops: has seen Saban win two rings with two different teams since he won his last. Urban Meyer: retired to punditdom (however temporarily). And when it comes to being the biggest, baddest head coach on the FBS block, are they really any other challengers?

If Les Miles can down the Tide in Tuscaloosa this season on his way to a second crystal football, or Chip Kelly can get his Oregon team over the hump of their nonconference struggles, or--most likely--Stoops can finally grab that elsuive second national title, then we can talk. But it's Saban until then, not least because he's as likely to come away with this season's ultimate prize as anyone; between what projects as the nation's clearcut No. 1 defense and what should be a punishing ground game, even a potentially up-and-down passing game (featuring a first-year quarterback and wideouts mostly more steady than spectacular) may not be enough to prevent the Tide's second BCS title in three years.

The old saying is that college football teams take on the personality of their coaches, and nowhere is that more true than at Alabama. Saban's brutally professional, clinically detail-oriented, obsessively driven approach has created a program where sloppiness and shoddy preparation--from offseason workouts to gameday routines to play execution--isn't so much "not tolerated" as nonexistent. It's not a particularly personable philosophy, which is one reason Saban has arguably become the SEC's most hated villain. But as the 2011 season grinds into motion, it's also what's made him the nation's single most successful active college football coach. -- JH

The 100 will continue here on Eye on CFB tomorrow. Until then, check out Nos. 100-91, 90-81, 80-71, 70-61, 60-51, 50-41, 40-31, 30-21 and 20-11. You can also keep up with the 100 by following us on Twitter.
Posted on: June 7, 2011 12:16 pm
 

Reggie Bush hasn't returned his Heisman

Posted by Tom Fornelli

On Monday the BCS stripped USC of its 2004 title after the school's appeal to the NCAA was denied in May. As you'll remember, a big reason why USC was in trouble in the first place was former running back Reggie Bush. Back in September, Bush announced that he was forfeiting the Heisman Trophy he won in 2005. Well, it's been nearly nine months since he made that announcement, but if he's planning on giving the actual trophy back to the Heisman Trust, Bush is sure taking his sweet time about it.

According to a report from The Dan Patrick Show, Bush is yet to return the trophy.

The source at the Heisman Trophy Trust told us that there was no specific agreement with Reggie Bush to return the trophy, but that it was “alluded to in Reggie’s statement and the whole world reasonably expected him to return it.”

The Heisman Trust source added that they had been in touch with Bush’s agent “more than once” about the status of returning the trophy. Also, Bush would not even have to pay for shipping. The Heisman Trust would send him a case for the Heisman Trophy, with shipping paid for.

There were two versions of Bush's trophy given out. One to Bush and one to USC. Since September, USC athletic director Pat Haden has returned the school's trophy to the Heisman Trust. Apparently, while the Heisman Trust has tried to contact Bush about returning his trophy, Bush hasn't made any effort to do so. Which, no matter how you feel about the entire Bush/USC situation, is rather lame. If you took the time to publicly say you were going to forfeit the trophy, then forfeit the trophy. Actions speak louder than words and all that.

Posted on: June 6, 2011 3:58 pm
Edited on: June 6, 2011 3:59 pm
 

USC stripped of 2004 BCS title

Posted by Tom Fornelli

It may not come as a surprise since most people seemed to be expecting it after USC had its appeal denied earlier this month, but the BCS made things official on Monday. USC has been stripped of its 2004 BCS title thanks to an investigation that began with former running back Reggie Bush. The BCS released a statement.

"The BCS arrangement crowns a national champion, and the BCS games are showcase events for post-season football," executive director Bill Hancock said. "One of the best ways of ensuring that they remain so is for us to foster full compliance with NCAA rules. Accordingly, in keeping with the NCAA's recent action, USC's appearances are being vacated.

"This action reflects the scope of the BCS arrangement and is consistent with the NCAA's approach when it subsequently discovers infractions by institutions whose teams have played in NCAA championship events." 

There is no word on whether or not USC will return the crystal football trophy it was awarded after beating Oklahoma 55-19 in the 2005 Orange Bowl. The AP has said that it will not make changes to its poll and that USC will remain the final #1 team on it's poll in 2004, and USC athletic director Pat Haden has said in the past that the school will still refer to 2004 as a "national championship season."

Posted on: June 3, 2011 10:40 am
 

Big 12 commish questions DOJ's interest in BCS

Posted by Chip Patterson

The Bowl Championship Series has been criticized since it's inception by fans of a football playoff. But a combination of the constant tweaking in recent years along with a good ole dose of scandal have turned the BCS into public enemy number one for many college football fans. While some have fantasized about President Barack Obama delivering a playoff, there are more realistic legal ways the federal government can get involved. That process began when BCS executive director Bill Hancock agreed to a "voluntary briefing" on the BCS with the Department of Justice later this year. Outside of Hancock, some of the biggest players in the BCS are the commissioners of the six conferences holding automatic bids to the bowls. The BCS bowl games create huge injections of cash for the conferences, which are divided amongst all of the teams. So it comes as no surprise that Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe would seem a little perturbed at the DOJ's threatening stance towards the BCS.

"It's good to know that they've chased down all of the people who have caused our banking system to have problems," Beebe said from the Big 12 meetings in Kansas City. "We've strongly believe and the BCS position has been stated that the government has better things to do than insert itself into how college postseason football should be operated."

The process was kickstarted earlier this year Christine A. Varney, who runs the antitrust division for the DOJ, wrote a letter to NCAA president Mark Emmert with concerns regarding the organization and any plans for a playoff. Utah attorney general Mark Shurtleff has threatened to file an antitrust lawsuit against the BCS, and some believe that violation of antitrust laws is the idea way to change college football's postseason. Hancock, on the other hand, seems very confident in the organizations ability to withstand these threats.

"We view it as an opportunity to make it clear that the BCS was crafted very carefully with antitrust laws in mind," Hancock said.

If there is anything that will ruffle feathers in this country, it is messing with someone else's money. The ones who benefit the most from the BCS will continue to openly criticize and question any attack on the organization. But while this is a hot topic for now, like most things with the NCAA this will be a long process with no swift action. So get comfy folks, because this debate is not going to be settled anytime soon.
Posted on: May 24, 2011 2:19 pm
 

Eye on CFB Roundtable: Full cost scholarships

By Eye on College Football Bloggers

Each week, the Eye on CFB team convenes Voltron- style to answer a pressing question regarding the wild, wide world of college football. This week's topic:

Both Jim Delany and Mike Slive have come out in favor of "full cost of attendance" athletic scholarships that will include stipends for transportation, clothing, etc., in addition to covering tuition. But it's believed that not all conferences will be able to afford such stipends. Is this a plan college football fans should support?

Tom Fornelli: This is an interesting debate. Because my first inclination is that any extra money that the players can get, they should get. It's not that I think it'll keep players from breaking NCAA rules and taking money elsewhere or anything, it's just that I've always felt that the players should be getting a bigger piece of that billion dollar pie they bake to begin with.

That being said, I do worry about what this can lead to. It will affect recruiting. Let's say one conference is offering more than another. If I'm an 18-year old kid without a job, with an equal opportunity of playing at two different schools, but one is offering me $5,000 a year while the other $3,000? That $2,000 is going to make a big difference in my life. Plus, what if all the BCS conferences agree to a flat rate throughout to even that up? Well, that will just about kill the Mountain West's, WAC's and all the other non-BCS conferences' recruiting. The BCS already has an advantage over them, and now if they're offering even more, that gap only widens.

Adam Jacobi: You know what, though, Tom? I don't think the current recruiting rules did the little guys much good to begin with.

By that I mean, pretty much the only thing a school is allowed to use to entice a particular recruit is the relationship with the coach (playing time, off-field support) and the football program itself (game day, training facilities). Education also plays a role, but a rather weak one--the amount of young men who either A) enroll in the SEC or B) transfer from a quality school to some rinky-dink lower-division school whose diplomas mean about as much as a McDonald's placemat would indicate that the quality of education is not nearly as important as playing time or on-field prestige.

And sure, limiting recruiting pitches to football and education sounds good, but it basically means that a have-not type of school--your typical Sun Belt or MAC program, say--can't do a damn thing to entice an upper-level recruit to come there instead of to a BCS school.

Jerry Hinnen: Right. There's no question that the proposal would end any kind of recruiting "battles" between BCS and non-BCS teams (assuming the latter, as widely believed, couldn't come up with the scratch to put it into practice). Playing time and shots at championships only matter so much compared to (over four years) $8,000-$12,000.

But how many of those battles are going on in the first place? A handful in the West between Boise State and San Diego State and various Pac-12 schools ... maybe a few between bottom-rung BCS schools looking for sleepers in Texas and Florida and local C-USA teams like UCF, Houston and SMU ... perhaps a local metro recruit could be persuaded to stay in the MAC at Temple or, now, UMass, rather than going to ride the bench at a Big East cellar dweller.

AJ: Remember how funny it was that Cyrus Kouandjio kept leaving New Mexico in his Top 5? It's probably irritating to non-power schools that it was so funny.

At the same time, though, the last thing we need is a redux of the cash-crazy SWC days. That was unseemly and it ended badly. We don't need to encourage that type of behavior. And that's why I think what Tom's suggesting, that one school might be able to offer a flat sum of money more than the other, won't come to pass. There's going to be some strict regulation on what constitutes the full cost of attendance, and that seems fair. What I'd be interested in is how this extra money is disbursed. Surely they don't plan to award the money in a flat sum at the beginning of each semester, right? Because if you put $2,000 in a college kid's bank account and tell him it's got to last for four months, how long do you think that money's really going to last? And how much of that money is going to be spent conspicuously (i.e. cars, bling, alcohol), potentially embarrassing a school that fought hard for the athletes to get that extra money? JH: That could be a problem. But the fallout I'm worried about from this plan isn't what happens if it passes; it's what happens if the NCAA's mid-major rank-and-file (which may not have a dog in the FBS fight but will no doubt do whatever they can to protect their D-I men's hoops interests) find a way to keep it from passing. It's possible that that's the point at which the BCS schools take their ball and go home to their own, NCAA-free college football Premier League ... and as someone who enjoys seeing Boise State try to break through the glass ceiling and the C-USA champ take on the SEC in the Liberty Bowl and even, say, Temple take on Penn State in mid-September, I think college football would be dramatically poorer for it.

Chip Patterson: Further separation from the BCS and Non-BCS schools is the scariest aspect to me in this whole situation.  The threat/idea of a BCS breakaway from the NCAA (as Jerry mentioned) seems to be a doomsday scenario that everyone knows exists, but no one wants to talk about.  It would bring up new definitions and standards for college athletes, as well as amateurism in general.  Full cost scholarships are going to be a nightmare to try and define and establish across college football, and I fear the results of the conversation would only raise more problems than it would solve.  

Around many college campuses, the football team is on a bigger celebrity status than city officials.  You give 18-22 year olds a new stream of cash to go along with their larger-than-life status, there are going to be some consequences.  You could argue that there would be no more of a threat of off-field misconduct than already exists, but I find it difficult to imagine it won't play a factor in misconduct reports in the future.

Bryan Fischer: The one thing to keep in mind about these full-cost scholarship proposals is that they're going to be adjusted based on federal calculations to cover the gap between what the college scholarship covers now and what it actually costs to attend a school.

As Jim Delany has been quoted, players used to receive $15 for laundry every month and they still get the same $15 now. In essence, the Big Ten and SEC want to adjust scholarships for inflation. I think it's admirable and the right thing to do. If you're a parent spending thousands on private tutors and coaches and travel teams, I would think you'd be in favor of this too.

What remains to be seen is how you work out the nitty gritty details. There's Title IX considerations, partial scholarships for some sports to navigate around and a myriad of other issues. I don't think it will provide the recruiting advantage many think, since it's tied to cost of living. You go to USC or UCLA and you're going to get more money because gas is a tad more expensive than it is at Auburn or Alabama.

This idea has some traction with the membership, but the key will be nailing down the details and figuring out where the money is coming from. If the funding comes from student fees (in essence, students paying for student-athletes) then I can see a few roadblocks. There's a long way to go on this issue, and it will be interesting to see where those details take us.


 
 
 
 
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